Monday, March 19, 2012

Facebook and Goodreads and Social Media, Oh My

Every author should have a Facebook Author Page. It’s a way to interact with fans without letting them see the high school pictures of you that Aunt Thelma posts and discussions with your nephews. The best way to migrate people to the Author Page is to make merchandise and content available to readers that is not available on the friend page.

There are a number of add-ons and tabs that can be added to the author page in Facebook. They are boxes that will show up as part of your newsfeed for the page or they are additional tabs that show up at the top of the page as well. One of these that is easy to use is GoodReads. is a site that catalogues your library as well as what you’re reading now. You can review books, tell others what you are reading and discuss books in general.

GoodReads also has a wonderful giveaway program. You can run contests from the site and specify how many copies you want to give away and how long you want the contest to run. GoodReads does maintain control of the information of their participants, so you can’t add all of these people to your mailing list when you’re done, but you can encourage them to go to your site and join. The program is limited to paper books at the moment, but there is some talk of opening it to e-books as well.

They also include a widget that can be shown on your website or other pages that is a click-through to the giveaway as well. This gets the word out to more people about the contest. It’s a very easy way to have someone else manage giveaways for you.

Since I write biographies as well, I use GoodReads to tell my readers what particular book by the subject I’m reading now. When I recently wrote my biography of Erle Stanley Gardner, all of my readers could see which book I was reading by Gardner and towards the end, I had a contest where the person who guessed when I would finish all the books won some books by Gardner and by me.

Jeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer.  After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice. 
That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It was nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony.  
He is the long-time moderator of MurderMustAdvertise, an on-line discussion group dedicated to book marketing and public relations. He is the author of Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel, the only how-to book for promoting genre fiction.

His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his partner and two dogs.


Chris Redding said...

Thanks for stopping by Jeff.

Elaine L. Orr said...

Anything Jeff writes becomes a teaching tool. I created a Goodreads account but had not used it well. Thanks for the ideas.
Elaine Orr